Emotional dependency is like a fresh, hot bowl of popcorn. I love fresh popcorn.
I love everything about it. The buttery aroma dances through the air at the theme park and draws me in like a tractor beam.
A trip to the movie theater is not complete without a medium-sized bag doused with salt and dredged in gooey butter.
At home it’s practically a nightly routine, I mean, treat. Ah, the hot, salty oil slightly coating each individual kernel and entertaining by mouth as I crunch down on each piece.
I enjoy hundreds of bowls of popcorn every year.
Now let’s imagine for a moment that I suddenly became allergic to my favorite snack.
What would you do if you became allergic to a treat you couldn’t be without? I mean what if even smelling it would break you out into hives?
I suppose I would resist eating it, at least for a while, tricking myself with many lies about being healthy and taking the safe route.
Perhaps I could pretend I was fine by saying it wasn’t meant to be.
But in the end, the temptation would boil over, I would fall prisoner to my desire for the salty, buttery explosion of flavor and the light, fluffy crunch of each bite and jump face first into a hot, fresh bowl of popcorn.
It wouldn’t matter what the consequences were.
Emotional Dependency- One Long Roller Coaster Ride
This brings me to our relationships and emotional dependency.
I propose that many of us (including myself at one point) become addicted to our partners.
We feel like we cannot live without them.
And I see a danger in this emotional dependency on our spouses.
Instead of our spouse enriching our lives we rely on them as a source of fulfillment and energy.
When our relationship experiences a down moment our whole life seems to follow.
And when our relationship feels exhilarating like nothing could go wrong the rest of our life tags along.
In essence our life feels like one long roller coaster ride with polarizing rises and falls.
Do you see this as healthy? Is there an alternative to emotional dependency?
Couldn’t I just find another treat to divulge myself with? Is it really worth it to get myself sick if I were allergic to it?
In fact this cycle would repeat itself time and time again. Sometimes the gaps in between each offense would be longer than others, but I still would eventually would lose the battle to resist temptation and eat it again.
The Real, Everyday Danger of Emotional Dependency
Now how about something more serious? Not popcorn. Instead the feeling of needing a partner (note I am purposely saying needing and not wanting). How can emotional dependency kill you?
No matter if that partner lets you down many times over. The temptation to fill yourself with the joy of their companionship gets the best of you only to be disappointed by their response- lack of interest, mean-spirited comments, preference to do something else other than be around you, etc.
I have found myself victim of this all too many times in my relationships. Then I start asking myself important questions or wondering what to do next.
“Should I just stick it out? Will she go back to the way she was? Maybe she’ll see that she’s being selfish.”
A Real Question About Emotional Dependency to Ask Yourself That Could Change Your Life Right Now
The point of this post is not to figure out ways to confront your spouse. The question I am raising here is have you become ADDICTED to being with someone? Do you enter into relationships in order to be with someone or because you have trouble being alone.
You may have. You may not have, but ask yourself that question and ponder over it for a while.
I did it. And it was a healthy exercise to point me in the right direction of not falling victim to the emotional dependency of NEEDING companionship.
Have you been forcing yourself into thinking that you need companionship?
Should you need a partner or simply choose to be with someone because they suit you right?
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